Taneasha Thomas, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member and former Salt River High School (SRHS) wrestler, recently received her national letter of intent and verbally committed to join the women’s wrestling team at Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, Kan., this fall.
Thomas graduated from SRHS in 2011 and was the 2010 Arizona Girls’ Wrestling State Champion in the 145-pound division. In 2011 she suffered a shoulder injury at the girls’ state tournament. She wrestled under then Head Coach Marc Hillis and Na Humma as assistant coach. She also participated in football and track and field. When she heads to Kansas this fall, she will become the first SRHS wrestler to join a varsity college program.
“I’m not exactly sure how they heard about me, but they contacted me last summer and asked me to join their team. It was real sudden and I needed time to turn in my paper work. So I finally did and will be attending this fall, and now I am going for it,” said Thomas. “I’ll be in the respiratory therapy program as well . I always liked the whole medical thing, and that was the closest [program] to what I am interested in studying,” said Thomas.
After taking a combined schedule of high school and college courses , Thomas felt she needed a break, so she took a year off . But she is now ready for college and plans to attend Northwest Kansas Technical College for two years.
“I am currently doing one-on-one freestyle entry to wrestling with former coach Na Humma,” said Thomas. “I am nervous about college, because this will be the first time away from home for this amount of time without family or friends. This time I will be all on my own and get the whole college experience.”
As the first female to win a championship trophy in wrestling for SRHS, Thomas said that she is very happy to see Alondra Chase win another championship for the school during the 2012-13 school year.
“I think she did a lot better than me, and I’m very proud of her,” said Thomas. “There aren’t a lot of girls who really stuck with the sport. She and I are the only two so far. It puts a good word out for us, and I’m hoping that a lot more females will join [the SRHS wrestling team] when the time comes.”
In 2010, Thomas was also the first female from SRHS to participate in the International Sports Specialists, Inc. (ISSI) Annual Down Under Sports Tournaments, held in Brisbane, Queensland , Australia.